May 24, 2016 // Franchising.com // PADUCAH, Ky. – Dippin’ Dots, LLC, leader in the flash-frozen ice cream and frozen treat market, continues to realize surging growth as a result of a focus on developing a strong franchisee base, pursuing strategic partnerships with other well-known brands and expanding its points of presence since being acquired by Oklahoma City-based private equity firm Fischer Enterprises LLC in late 2012.
The strategy is paying dividends as total sales of the company’s core ice cream products jumped more than 60 percent from 2013 through 2015. The robust sales growth is expected to continue with sales on track for an additional 25 percent growth in 2016.
“As an iconic brand with strong name recognition and consumer loyalty, Dippin’ Dots is the cornerstone of our snack food portfolio,” said Scott Fischer, COO of Fischer Enterprises. “The flash-frozen beaded ice cream was a groundbreaking product when it was invented more than 25 years ago. Since the acquisition, we have maintained the company’s unique brand while making the product more easily available and marketing to a new generation.”
Domestic franchising remains a key component of the company’s success. Year-over-year franchising revenue grew by more than 45 percent in 2015 and is exceeding that pace so far this year. While franchising unit growth is being organically generated from existing franchisees expanding points of presence, Dippin’ Dots also expects to bring in approximately 10 new franchise owners in 2016. As a part of that growth, brick-and-mortar franchise-owned units have recently opened in Mobile, Ala., and Destin, Fla.
“Our franchise philosophy emphasizes quality over quantity,” explained Steve Rothenstein, senior director of franchising at Dippin’ Dots Franchising LLC. “We strive to help our franchisees develop their business over the long term by giving them the resources and expertise they need to succeed. The nearly 50 percent increase in our franchising revenue reflects the profitability of our model for both our franchisees and the company.”
Corporate growth is also being driven by the co-branding of Dippin’ Dots with Doc Popcorn, which specializes in fresh-popped, kettle-cooked flavored popcorn and was acquired by Fischer Enterprises in 2014. Co-branding aligns two leaders in their market segments and allows a single outlet to satisfy sweet and savory snack urges. Co-branded Dippin’ Dots/Doc Popcorn outlets are currently operational in Springfield, Mo., Albuquerque, N.M., Green Bay, Wis., Las Vegas and the greater Chicago area. An additional 15 co-branded units are expected to open in 2016.
International distribution of Dippin’ Dots product continues to see strong growth from both co-branding with Doc Popcorn as well as expanding to new markets. Hankyu Hanshin Holding Group, which holds the master license for Dippin’ Dots in Japan, began shipping product to Taiwan last month. To continue to grow globally, Dippin’ Dots is also considering entering the Chinese market later this year.
Dippin’ Dots remains a major presence at stadiums, theaters and theme parks. From 2013 to 2015, the company added 350 new accounts, which helped increase its non-franchised sales by more than 33 percent over the same period.
Dippin’ Dots is concurrently pursuing a multi-pronged distribution strategy intended to reach consumers beyond its traditional outlets. In 2015, Dippin’ Dots and Doc Popcorn entered a partnership to expand into Fabulous Freddy’s carwash/convenience stores throughout the southwestern U.S. Grab & go packs of popular flavors like Cookies ‘n Cream, Rainbow Ice, Cotton Candy and Birthday Cake are now available in nearly 7,000 select convenience and drug stores nationwide, including Fred’s, Weis Markets and regional locations of Circle K and 7-Eleven, which allows the company to maintain its brand equity and cachet while reaching new consumer segments.
“The Dippin’ Dots brand is known and recognized by consumers around the globe,” said Michael Barrette, vice president of marketing and sales. “By growing our presence geographically and outside of our traditional outlets, we are appealing to a broader base of customers both in the U.S. and abroad.”
Dippin’ Dots continues to innovate on the product side as well. The company recently introduced REDBERRY® Sherbet made with Sour Patch Kids® candy, a berry-flavored treat with a fun, speckled look. Coming this summer is Blue Cotton Candy YoDots, which will combine the authentic sweet Cotton Candy flavor in a better for you, low-fat frozen yogurt with active cultures and 110 calories per serving.
“The Dippin’ Dots brand revolves around food, family and fun,” Fischer said. “And with our expanding family of partners and products, we are delivering more fun to more people than ever before.”
Dippin’ Dots has produced and distributed its flash frozen tiny beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and flavored ice products since microbiologist Curt Jones invented the cryogenic process in 1988. Made at the company’s production facility in Paducah, Ky., Dippin’ Dots distributes its unique frozen products in all 50 states and 11 countries through its franchised and direct distribution network. For more information, including franchise opportunities, please visit www.dippindots.com.
SOURCE Dippin’ Dots